Excerpted from Mothering Many: Sanity-Saving Strategies from Moms of Four or More

Many moms in smaller families are religious about getting their children’s photographs taken professionally. Is this something you do? Are there alternatives?

  • We had 2 family pictures taken in the past 8 years. We had the children’s photos taken in old-fashioned clothes, offered as a fund-raiser for a local group.—Sheri
  • We get them done once a year at Christmas at a place where they can accommodate large groups and there’s no sitting fee. We are considering having a photographer take us somewhere else, though, as we’ve been getting sighs and comments from our children when going to the studio the last two years.—Lissa
  • I let school pictures take over. Ordering smaller packages really helps. It was important to me and I was faithful about having their photos taken.—Shannon
  • We buy the basic Walmart portrait package whenever we have a 6-month-old. If it weren’t for family members who expect this kind of thing, we probably wouldn’t even bother with that.—Betsy
  • I don’t think my fourth child has had professional photos taken. It’s not a huge priority for me, or it would probably have happened. My husband does photography as a hobby, so we have a lot of interesting pictures of the kids, although not posed.—Ann
  • I’m not regular with it, but we have professional pictures taken at Christmas. I would rather have great photos of all of us together. However, I have thousands of digital pictures of each of the kids. We are fortunate, because our friend is a photographer and does it for free when we have the family shots taken.—Kate
  • Not since our third child! Instead, we take a lot of digital pictures and transfer them to CD-ROM and try to keep scrapbooks current and on display throughout our home. Good shots are enlarged and framed for that purpose. Those shots hold special memories that can be shared and they are usually more reflective of our children and family than posed or professional shots.—Janet
  • We did this more when we had smaller, younger kids. Now we don’t bother much. We take tons of pictures with our digital camera! We also recruit friends who seem to have a natural gift for photography to take family pictures for us.—Christy
  • Jesus brings life. Do whatever brings life to you and your family. We don’t do professional photos. Some of our children are great with the digital, and I’d rather look at candids.—Karol
  • I’ve had each of the kids’ pictures taken in the hospital and at one year of age. In school, they get taken every year, which does add up financially. I know of one family who had school pictures taken every other year to save on expenses.—Betty
  • My husband enjoys photography and used to do some as a hobby when he was single. Of course, once we started having children, they became his favorite subject for photography! I think outdoor pictures are so lovely and far better than indoor professional ones. I also agree that the time and expense of doing so many pictures professionally would be too much.—Sarah
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